On Sunday 28th October, we went for Sunday lunch at the Red Lion in High Lane. This place continues to be one of the best places for Sunday lunch in the area. One of the reasons for its success is that it caters for a broad clientèle. If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy quality food and wine in very nice surroundings or somewhere to take the family, rugrats included, and enjoy a meal without stress then the Red Lion will give you want you want. Families tend to gravitate towards the lower end of the pub, in the Panel Room area, where there is a more relaxed attitude, high chairs and a tad less formality. This arrangement also allows those people who wish to enjoy their meal without young children to do so.
This time we are En-famille with elder son and Daughter-in-Law (DIL) together with our granddaughter of a 7 month vintage who, to her doting grandparents, changes every day. All the adults opted for food from the set Sunday lunch menu. To begin with, three of us opting for the Roast Squash, Beetroot and Blue Cheese salad whilst ES bucked the trend with his Chicken Caesar salad. For main courses, only the OH chose an actual roast; an excellent Roast Lamb with all the usual trimmings including the less usual but unrefusable Yorkshire pudding. The DIL and myself ate the Cheese and Onion Pie with chips and beans (“Sacrilege..” cried a character from The Mousetrap , “Are you perhaps in Trade?, Really!”) The culinary degeneracy of my choice of Sunday Lunch was only matched by the pie itself, a hand raised puff pastry with an unctuous semi-liquid cheese filling tempered with a good balance of onions. The baked beans were home-made with tomato, molasses and a hint of garlic. It never stood a chance. ES continued the school dinner theme with his choice of Cottage Pie, served in its own bowl with a side dish of flawless seasonal vegetables.
To finish we could not refuse desserts and devoured two Sticky Toffee Puddings, a delightful Winter Fruit Crumble and the special dessert of the day, Orange Creme Brulee. No one spoke, no one was disappointed.
The granddaughter, FJ, behaved well throughout and enjoyed some finger food; first, a debut of a healthy green bean or three and then a slide into decadence as she got stuck into her first ever chip. I tried to console my Daughter-in-law who face betrayed a feeling that all her hard work and commitment to a healthy diet for her child was slipping away at this moment. No, I assured her, FJ has not been kidnapped by a tribe of Merseyway pikeys who will force feed her in a stroller with a diet of market chips with “red” sauce, Gabbot’s Farm sausage rolls and Haribo star mix. Back to the mango and parsnip puree you little scamp!
Once again, for us, The Red Lion delivered. A credit again to one the hardest-working hosts in the North West, Steve Pilling, who never fails to make everyone feel welcome and special.